Apple iPod nano (2012)
The smallest proper iPod gets a video-friendly screen, Lightning and Bluetooth
- Compact, smart design
- Bluetooth 4.0 is useful
- Missing features from previous nano
- Screen isn't great for video
Apple's constantly-reinvented iPod nano gets a video-friendly screen and Bluetooth in its latest update. It's a user-friendly device as portable media players go, although it's missing a few features we liked on previous incarnations.
Price$ 169.00 (AUD)
The ever-evolving iPod nano is in its seventh regeneration now, with an announcement alongside the iPhone 5 and iPod touch that promised a redesign around a new 2.5-inch widescreen display, Bluetooth, a pedometer and Lightning.
The iOS-lite operating system hasn’t changed greatly since the last nano, and neither has the internal hardware. So does a bigger screen and wireless connectivity make the nano more appealing?
Apple iPod nano (2012): Design and features
Our test 16GB iPod nano — that’s the only size available — came in an emerald green finish, although black, pink, blue, silver, yellow and PRODUCT (RED) finishes are also available.
In lieu of an in-line volume control on the bundled EarPods, the new iPod nano has a multi-function control on the player’s top left side, where you’d find the volume and mute switch on an iPhone. The multifunction centre button serves to skip, pause and play tracks, and it’s intuitive without offering a confusing array of options.
The power button is on the player’s top, and there’s a simple Home button on the lower front bezel. It doesn’t have the same functionality as a full iOS interface like the iPod touch’s or iPhone’s — apart from unlocking the device and powering up the screen, its only other feature is a triple-click that can invert the screen’s colour (for accessibility) or turn on VoiceOver.
The new nano is thinner than the previous incarnation, and is now the thinnest iPod around — just 5.4mm thick, in part enabled by the abandonment of the integrated rear clip. The move to the thinner and more compact Lightning connector is also necessary — there’s simply not enough room for the old 30-pin socket and a headphone port on the nano’s lower panel. There’s also a white plastic panel that hides the Bluetooth antenna — the aluminium case is otherwise impervious to radio waves.
Apple iPod nano (2012): Usage and performance
The iPod nano’s interface is very simple, and relies on you adding music, video, podcasts and photos through a connected computer running iTunes — there’s no Wi-Fi inbuilt, and the nano can’t run any iOS apps anyway.
The interface runs on swipes, moving through menus and across the nano’s home screen to access different features. The main screen holds Music, Videos, Fitness, Podcasts, Photos, and Radio, with a second screen showing the Clock and Settings icons. You can customise the layout like on other iOS devices.
As a portable music player, the iPod nano is simple and perfectly usable. Load your music on via iTunes — we took the opportunity to purchase Channel ORANGE by Frank Ocean — and then hit the Music icon to be presented with the traditional iPod touchscreen music interface.
The nano is able to power the bundled EarPods headphones to uncomfortably loud levels, which is more than it should ever need to do. If you value your hearing, you’ll buy better headphones before maxing out the volume with cheap ones.
We also sync’d the iPod nano’s Bluetooth connection to a pair of Denon AH-NCW500 wireless headphones, and used them for a few hours of cable-free playback. The connection process is as simple as you’d expect from an Apple product. We were able to move around within a roughly five metre range of the nano while maintaining a strong connection, and within around ten metres the connection was mostly reliable.
The iPod nano’s screen is bright, but with a 430x242 pixel resolution (202ppi) it’s not especially detailed. It’s OK for watching TV shows and movies, but you won’t get a particularly cinematic experience. We also found we tended to hold the screen up close to see what was going on, which might look a bit weird on a crowded bus.
It’s also important to note that the nano won’t play HD TV shows or movies that are downloaded from the iTunes store — you’ll need to purchase the standard definition versions to transfer to the iPod nano, since iTunes doesn’t automatically downscale video in the sync process.
We did notice that the new iPod nano hasn’t re-added the features from our much-loved 2010, fifth-generation model — there’s no camera, no microphone, no speaker or alarm clock function. These aren’t really important on such a small iPod since most buyers will have a larger phone that does the job, but it does make the nano slightly less appealing to a small part of the market.
Apple iPod nano (2012): Conclusion
The iPod nano serves its role as a portable music player well. The addition of Bluetooth is convenient, and the new screen suits the common widescreen video aspect ratio — as long as you don’t try to sync HD TV shows or movies.
Apple’s nano hasn’t always gone forward in its evolutionary process — it’s shed some features throughout its short history — but the current model is perfectly capable at the tasks it’s been assigned.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Apple TV will serve as hub for remotely controlling HomeKit devices
- Sony Smart B-Trainer headset gives runners vocal advice
- The iPod classic plays its last
- Apple iPod Touch pricing slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia
- Apple shows off iPod touch, nano updates
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)VIC
- FTMicrosoft ProgrammerSA
- CCIT Solutions ArchitectQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- TPGIS Developer - 6 month ContractQLD
- CCProject Manager - Adelaide basedNSW
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer with Strong SQL DevNSW
- FTFull Stack Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTData AnalystQLD
- FTApplication Support Analyst/DeveloperNSW
- TPInformation Management SpecialistVIC
- CCSenior Networks Specialist - DNS PlatformVIC
- FTSupport Analyst / Production Support - InformaticaNSW
- CCContract - System Access Administrator - major Telco in MelbourneVIC
- TPDesktop Support OfficerQLD
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - NetApp SpecialistNSW
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectNSW
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC
- TPProject Support OfficerQLD
- CCTechnical Support AnalystACT
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)NSW